There is no human Leader, there is no human power capable of opening the door to conquer or dominate my heart, neither with cleverness nor with violence.      J. M. Arizmendiarrieta. Reflections. p. 46

Is CoopIndex 1.0 what I am looking for?

If you agree with any of the statements below, Co-opIndex may be a tool just for you:

"When we started the co-op we were so much more idealistic, on the way we seem to have lost the initial spirit."

"Everyone here feels we are drifting towards a model of the company we were always repelled by."

"With so many wonderful young people around we should think how to introduce them to what we value most, but we do not know where to start. We do not want to be paternalistic."

"The market pressures have so disheartening influence on us that we are no longer sure if the co-operative is what we wanted from the start."

"We are doing well. The business develops; we spend a lot of money on training and development, but we would like to be sure we are on the right track."

"Our business is strong, but we should prepare for the changes in the market - we have to depend on our strength and not on the weakness of the competition."

What does the questionnaire look like?

Co-opIndex Questions

001. Employees pass on important information to others (affected by it) on time.

002. I am satisfied with the hiring process in our co-op.

003. I am willing to participate in the evaluation of my coworkers' work.

004. Co-op members have a final say on key decisions.

005. I respect my supervisor for his or her competencies.

006. Government is not directly involved in our co-op's decision making.

007. Our co-op is engaged in environmental initiatives in the community.

008. In case of a financial crisis at the co-op, I would be ready to voluntarily give up a part of my compensation for some time.

009. I have an influence on how particular tasks are performed in the co-op.

010. If I had to, I would be able to pass on important information to the CEO within a day's time.

More What does the questionnaire look like?

How detailed is the report?

The levels of detail in the report.

Different people need different levels of detail. There are some who want just one number, others want to know almost every answer to every question. This is not given as individual answers should be confidential. To satisfy the needs of all we have defined four levels of presentation of the results.

One number - for the most impatient and for benchmarking

There are four general indices which capture the functioning of the organization within two simple numbers ranging from 1 to 100 (described in greater detail below). Such measures allow quick identification of progress and benchmarking against other similar organizations.

The first is the Organizational Maturity Index (OMI), which places the worker co-op on a maturity continuum.  This provides a guide to the extent to which the co-op embodies the key features of successful worker co-ops.

The second is the Organizational Trust Index (OTI), which provides a general assessment of the level of organizational trust within the co-op, i.e. how secure the members and employees feel within the organization.  

The report also includes a Co-operative Principles Index (CPI) for 12 Co-op Principles. The Co-op Index development team used the ICA 1995 Co-operative Principles as a starting point, and added several developed by the Mondragon Co-operative group, as well as an additional principle reflecting the concern for the environment. The report also includes a Co-operative Values Index (CVI).  Its calculation is based upon the 10 co-operative Values (ICA Statement of Co-op Identity)

30 dimensions of management in one picture

The responses are also grouped into four dimensions: Systems, Climate, Attitudes and Outcomes (shown in different colours).  These scales point to the types of actions that may increase member and employee engagement, and improve the functioning of the co-op. The combination of the various scales and indices provides the co-operative with an in-depth picture of their values in action.

The report includes an assessment of 30 indices relating to different dimensions of the co-ops life, including key information on how the dimensions are perceived by different groups of stakeholders within the co-op. A general picture diagram provides a snapshot of all the questionnaire results organized in four general categories and thirty dimensions.

The Organizational Systems include: Communication Systems, Transparency, Feedback Systems, Development of co-op members, Remuneration, Innovations, Personnel Policies, Processes, and Strategies. 

Indices of Organizational Climate are the indicators of the general tone and mood between members and employees within the coop. They include dimensions such as Mutual Respect, Leader competence, Trust in leadership, Trust in co-workers, Participatory management style, Relations with Co-workers, and Fun.  

Personal Attitudes and Actions include individual personal dimensions such as Participatory Knowledge, Ownership, Process Improvement and Responsibility.

 The Outcomes Individual, Organizational and Social include including dimensions such as Identification, Satisfaction, Self-realization; Independence, Viability, Products and services; Co-operation with other co-operatives, Care for Community and the Environment.

Summary of Co-operative Values and Principles

In addition, because co-operative values and principles are deeply intertwined with the daily actions of a co-operative, the questions in the survey are analysed in two types of scales to view the co-op from the perspectives of both values and actions. 

There are 22 scales that refer to particular Co-operative Principles and Values, and another grouping of 30 scales that refer to concrete Organizational actions and their effects.

The 12 principles used in the Co-operative Principles Index are:

(1) Voluntary and Open Membership, (2) Democratic Member Control, (3) Member Economic Participation, (4) Autonomy and Independence, (5) Education, Training and Information, (6)    Co-operation among Co-operatives, (7) Concern for Community, (8) Concern for the Environment, (9) Participatory Management, (10) Payment Solidarity, (11)  Labour control, (12)  Social Transformation

and 10 Co-operative Values: (1)    Self-help, (2) Self-responsibility, (3) Democracy,  (4) Equality, (5) Equity, (6)    Solidarity, (7) Honesty, (8) Openness, (9) Social responsibility, (10)  Caring for others

The detailed analysis of every scale




The most voluminous part of the report are summary of answers to all particular questions grouped in 52 scales of the survey. 

Our reporting tool also provides selected demographic comparisons between groups within the co-op, e.g. members vs. non-member workers; managers vs. production workers, etc.  




There are consultants and co-op developers who may help in conducting the diagnosis. For more information click here.


How to discuss the results?

Order of discussion

You cannot discuss about all the content of the report at the same time. There is too much information.  You may choose two methods. 

1. You may start with your gut feeling about what the most important issues are and check what does the report say about them and then decide what to do about them.

2. You may also start with the overviews of all results and choose to start with the dimensions that seem most easy to solve.  By no means should you start with the worst result or the most difficult issues, as you are almost sure to fail. Tackling the more difficult issues should be started when the team is ready to deal with them. They should have an experience of success and conviction that the more difficult problems can be solved.

3. You may also ask an experienced consultant to propose the best order. You have to remember that diagnosis is not the end but the beginning of a difficult development process.